In the Night Farm is not spectacular.
It comprises five acres atop a hill in the farmland of southwest Idaho. It is home to thirteen ducks, eleven chickens, nine horses, four cats, three sheep, two greyhounds, and one woman with too much to do. It features a geodesic dome farmhouse and too few fences, a large garden forever in need of weeding, and sweeping views of valley, mountain, sky. It is small and imperfect and needs to be mowed.
In the Night Farm is not spectacular.
But it is home. It is sanctuary from a world besmirched by carelessness, by reckless casting about of information, by all the flashing light and thudding sound that demand attention and achieve only distraction.
Here, at In the Night Farm, I pursue the things that matter to me. These are my passions:
Horses. Oh, the horses! If I could choose only one strand of life with which to carry on, it would be this. I raise Barbs (hence my online handle, BarbeyGirl) for endurance racing. My training style is trust-based — “horse whispering,” to the popular ear — and I learn more from my horses than they do from me. Endurance racing is a sport in which teams of one horse and one rider race 50 miles or more in a single day, through whatever natural terrain the area has to offer. You can read more about all this on my companion blog, The Barb Wire.
Nutrition. I can’t recall exactly when I developed an interest in this topic — it was sometime after college — but it has ballooned into the most extensive of my intellectual pursuits. I spent three years as a “flegan,” (flexible vegan) before learning how destructive such a way of eating could be. Much reading from a broad scope of sources has convinced me of the value of paleolithic, or primal, nutrition. I eat meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and a little dairy. I avoid all processed foods, sweeteners, and grains. I do my best to consume primarily grassfed meats and organic produce.
Fitness. I’ve always been on the active side, but it wasn’t until Spring 2009 that I realized I can be an athlete. A friend introduced me to bodybuilding and high intensity interval training, both of which fit beautifully into the “primal blueprint” after which I model my life. I lift heavy things, run really fast, and do a great deal of moving slowly. I do not spend any time on treadmills or ellipticals. At 5’3″ and 115 pounds, I can stack tons of hay in 100-pound bales, singlehanded. I have a six pack. I am strong enough to run my farm.
Sustainable living. I have a long way to go in this department. (Don’t we all?) But, I do my best to raise as much of my own food, grassfed and organic, as possible. This means raising lamb, ducks (for eggs and meat), chickens (for eggs only), and a large garden from which I preserve as much as possible. Fruit trees, berry and grape vines, and homegrown beef are all in the works.
Cooking. This is how I relax. I revel in big flavors, ethnic flights, unadorned bounty — in short, the sensuality of real, fresh, and nourishing food.
Writing. I believe in the power and beauty of words. My world is filtered by vocabulary. Life in its complexity, its simplicity, is a tale to be told. Through fiction, through non-fiction, through blogging, I try to do a little of the telling.
What have I forgotten? Oh, my curiosities are endless! But I shall finish here, with the answer to a lingering question you might have: How did my farm get its peculiar name?
In the Night Farm was named by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote in my favorite poem, The Ladder of St. Augustine:
“The heights by great men reached and kept ~ Were not attained by sudden flight ~ But they, while their companions slept ~ Were toiling upward in the night.”
Welcome, Friends, to In the Night Farm.
~ Tamara Baysinger